Photo Courtesy: Richard Cocks
Let’s be clear on this – all bricks are NOT created equal! If you have a building project which requires bricks to be used, don’t just opt for the cheapest you can find. They are available in loads of different styles, colours and designs, and interesting brickwork is much easier on the eye than boring old block work.
Depending on the purpose of the brickwork you may need special types of brick, so it’s important to figure out what does what before you commit. Here are just some of the types of brick to choose from – read on before you make any decisions!
Burnt Clay Bricks
Photo Courtesy: Yogendra Joshi
Ubiquitous and popular, burnt clay bricks are made in press moulds before being dried and kiln-fired. They are not the most beautiful of bricks – they are pretty plain and simple. However, they are used for large construction because they are reliable and easy to work with (they’re all exactly the same dimension). If you don’t like the look of them, but think they are best for your project you can easily clad them with wooden panels or even plastic ones, to hide them after the building stage.
Concrete bricks are made solely of concrete and are often used in extensions and remodelling projects. They can be available in a wide variety of different styles, colours and finishes, and are often used for decorative purposes too, both inside and out.
Sand Lime Bricks
The sand lime brick is made out of sand, lime and fly ash. The entire mixture is chemically-treated and shaped in a pressure mould. They are far better than the normal clay brick as they are really durable and can handle very heavy loads. They are a good choice for any structural construction.
The downside is that they are pretty dull in colour – they have an industrial greyish kind of hue. But, they are always exactly the same size, so they are very reliable to use and they have a very smooth finish, so painting them is always an option. This opens up a whole load of new possibilities.
Probably the strongest of them all, engineering bricks are brilliant at supporting incredibly heavy weights. They are also very good at withstanding water damage and they are impervious to chemicals which would dissolve weaker bricks. So they are a great choice if strength is your priority.
If you are in any doubt as to which bricks to use for your construction, it’s always best to consult with an expert such as a builder, an architect or a building surveyor. They will be able to appraise the design and tell you which bricks would be most suited to the purpose. Choosing the wrong bricks is a very expensive mistake to make – so it’s always better to be sure before you start. Don’t risk having to pull the whole thing apart and start again because you’ve used the wrong bricks. Apart from anything else, your other half will come down on you like a tonne of bricks!
Mark Anthony is an inventory manager at Architectural Design Hardware, a hardware solutions firm based in Perth, Western Australia. He is a hard worker and manages the products well. He enjoys listening old rock music in his spare time.